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Monday, September 26, 2016

The Limerick Summary: 2016 Tour Championship

Winner: Rory McIlroy

Around the wider world of golf: Chan Shih-Chang won the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup on the Japan Golf Tour; Colin Montgomerie won the Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship on the Champions Tour; Grayson Murray won the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship on the Web.com Tour; Fernández Valdés won the Aberto do Brasil title on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica; Azahara Muñoz won the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open on the LET; and Alexander Levy won the weather-shortened Porsche European Open on the ET.

Ryan Moore successfully snagged the final US Ryder Cup team berth. I'll have a bit more to say about that down below.

And just in case you were on Mars over the weekend, 87-year-old Arnold Palmer passed away Sunday afternoon. One of the earliest reports came from Golfweek, and you can read their article at this link.

Rory McIlroy with FedExCup and Tour Championship trophies

I'm not sure the FedExCup Playoffs could have ended any better than they did. Not only was the winner in doubt right up until the end, but it would have been a bit anticlimactic if the winner of the Tour Championship hadn't won the FedExCup as well.

Dustin Johnson was entitled to a bad round. He had played so well for so long this summer, I guess one was due. It's just a shame that it had to come on the last day of the Playoffs.

But with him little more than a spectator, the Tour Championship still offered all the storylines you could possibly have asked for. Rory ate the field for lunch -- everybody except Ryan Moore, of course, who matched Rory shot-for-shot over 21 holes. And then he made an amazing par to force Rory to win with a birdie, with the fans screaming their lungs out. That's the kind of ending that many sporting events would pay for.

Of course, the PGA Tour did pay for it, to the tune of $11.5mil (that was the winner's share, more or less).

With the Ryder Cup coming up this week, you have to view this through the prism of its effect on this event. You had the #1 player from the Euro team going head-to-head against the man who got the final spot on the US team -- and it's about damn time, if you ask me! It shouldn't have taken Davis this long -- and the two took it 22 holes before one of them could win. And Rory had to WIN it, mind you; Ryan made sure he couldn't just not lose it.

That's what you want to see, going into next week.

I will add that questions of form for either side are probably being blown out of proportion. If you look at the 36-hole scores for the ET and PGA Tour events this past weekend, only DJ and Martin Kaymer had distinguished themselves. None of the other Ryder Cup players were better than -2 (in the US) or -4 (in Europe, where the scores were much lower). That's to be expected, since all the other players would be thinking about the Ryder Cup.

It was different for Rory, who was looking to do something he'd never done before - win the FedExCup -- and Ryan, who was looking to make that Ryder Cup team, regardless of what he may have said on-camera. And they both proved that "apparent form" leading up to the Big Event this week is just that, only apparent. You better believe that all 24 players will be ready to go on Thursday!

And in the meantime, Rory can enjoy his newest Limerick Summary while he's drinking vast amounts of Guinness from that huge FedEx goblet:
Once McIlroy chewed up the field
And his prey could do nothing but yield,
The Tour offered up
Both the Trophy and Cup
To its new champ. The fans were SO thrilled!
The photo came from this page at pga.com.

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